Kristi Noem Releases Moving Video About How Real Estate Appraisal Licensing TOO HARD
You know South Dakota GOP Governor Kristi Noem is having troubles, because news articles keep calling her “embattled." Noem is being accused of possible nepotism, and a MAGA blog accused her of having an extramarital affair with Republican operative Corey Lewandowski. She's strongly denied that, because who can blame her? Friday, she tried to put the nepotism business to bed when she released her own version of Richard Nixon's “Checkers" speech. The video is called “The Facts on South Dakota Appraiser Certification," which sounds dull, like something actual appraisers have to watch every few years to keep their credentials up to date.
In the video, Noem is apparently at home, with her “deep thinking" glasses resting on her head. Let's see what she has to say.
NOEM: I wanted to make sure you had all the facts about my daughter Kassidy's certification to become a real estate appraiser. There's a lot of speculation and innuendo in the media and I wanted to take a second to set the record straight.
Most of the speculation and innuendo is about the Lewandowski thing. The possible nepotism allegations are fairly straightforward. There's no real confusion on that part.
NOEM: I never once asked for special treatment for Kassidy.
So, according to reality, a few days after the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation put the kibosh on Kassidy Noem Peters's application to become a certified real estate appraiser, Governor Noem held a meeting with Sherry Bren, the manager of the Appraiser Certification Program; Bren's direct supervisor; and state Secretary of Labor Marcia Hultman. Peters was also present, so that was probably awkward. No one else was in the room where it happened, so maybe they all just casually discussed "appraiser certification procedures," and Noem never once tried to intimidate officials on her daughter's behalf like a common Carmela Soprano. However, not long after the July 2020 meeting, Peters obtained her certification.
NOEM: She is my daughter and I'm proud of her. I raised her to accomplish things on her own just like my parents raised me.
That's such an inspiring sentiment. This video is literally American exceptionalism in action.
NOEM: Other appraisers went through the exact same process that Kassidy did, and I'll be honest, my administration started fixing that process.
Oh, so she's just confessing now. That's a strategy. Noem claims the process was “way too difficult." You'd think the governor of a US state or really anyone who's ever bought a house would understand how important real estate appraisal is. Apparently not.
NOEM: Appraisers weren't getting certified and South Dakotans were having to wait much longer to buy a home than in other states. This system had been broken for decades. It was designed to benefit those who were already certified and to keep others out.
Wonkette did some (extremely brief) research into whether South Dakota's appraisal process is exceptionally rigorous or needlessly complicated. We're not sure, but it's possible that Noem is full of crap. However, even if she legitimately believed there was a problem with the appraisal process, she shouldn't have personally involved herself while her daughter was applying for certification. This is all grade-school level ethics, but if you want a more advanced opinion, University of Minnesota Law School professor Richard Painter said, "It's clearly a conflict of interest and an abuse of power for the benefit of a family member." Painter was also the chief ethics lawyer for former President George W. Bush, so obviously he's one of the many liberals with a personal vendetta against corrupt governors.
NOEM: The person in charge of the appraisal certification process had been in that role for 40 years. There had been some efforts to streamline the process, but they were unsuccessful. I heard for years how difficult it is to become an appraiser in South Dakota.
I'm sure her daughter whined a lot about how hard it all was for her. Sherry Bren, who's 70, filed an age discrimination complaint in December 2020 claiming the agency demanded her retirement. So, it's obviously a genius move for Noem to imply Bren was bad at her job because she was doing it for so damn long (yes, that's age discrimination).
NOEM: We've been working for three years now to eliminate barriers to licensure. We want to roll out the red carpet and cut the red tape.
Now, she's selling us a used car. She really nailed the dismount in this video. If there are no “barriers" to receiving a real estate appraisal license, what's the point of the license? It's just something anyone can do without demonstrable skills or qualifications, like presumably governor of South Dakota.
This is a hot mess that sounds worse the more Noem tries to explain it. We won't bother suggesting she resign because that might require integrity.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."